With borders closed, our lifelines to family overseas have been cut. The isolation is suffocating | Daisy DumasDaisy Dumason August 2, 2020 at 5:30 pm

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Thanks to Covid-19, the great global experiment that, in recent years, invited so many of us to call so many distant shores our homes has lost a little of its sheenThe first exhibition I visited when I arrived in Sydney in 2010 was called On Their Own: Britain’s Child Migrants. I stumbled across those gut-wrenching stories, and their tragically false promises of a better life, as I wandered alone around the city I was born in but hadn’t lived in since I was two. What I saw in those photos and letters at Australia’s National Maritime Museum wasn’t the land of milk and honey I’d dreamed of – that progressive, independent, free-spirited modern life my Australian mother fondly imbued in us as we grew up, oceans away. Instead, I saw a nation filled with people who had come against their will from far, far away, building their new lives on land owned and lived on by a people and culture pushed far, far from their homelands and the mainstream. Children torn from their parents, hearts broken across hemispheres and deserts and whole cultures disjointed from their song-guarded spiritual homes. How many lives in Australia are built on loneliness, I wondered?They came by boat two centuries ago, they came by boat in the 1960s and they attempt to come by boat now. I came by plane, and I chose to come. But it doesn’t matter how we got here. The point is that the vast majority of us came from somewhere else – and, whether through family, or stories, or on paper or in feeling, are still entangled in that somewhere else. Continue reading…

Thanks to Covid-19, the great global experiment that, in recent years, invited so many of us to call so many distant shores our homes has lost a little of its sheen

The first exhibition I visited when I arrived in Sydney in 2010 was called On Their Own: Britain’s Child Migrants. I stumbled across those gut-wrenching stories, and their tragically false promises of a better life, as I wandered alone around the city I was born in but hadn’t lived in since I was two. What I saw in those photos and letters at Australia’s National Maritime Museum wasn’t the land of milk and honey I’d dreamed of – that progressive, independent, free-spirited modern life my Australian mother fondly imbued in us as we grew up, oceans away. Instead, I saw a nation filled with people who had come against their will from far, far away, building their new lives on land owned and lived on by a people and culture pushed far, far from their homelands and the mainstream. Children torn from their parents, hearts broken across hemispheres and deserts and whole cultures disjointed from their song-guarded spiritual homes. How many lives in Australia are built on loneliness, I wondered?

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They came by boat two centuries ago, they came by boat in the 1960s and they attempt to come by boat now. I came by plane, and I chose to come. But it doesn’t matter how we got here. The point is that the vast majority of us came from somewhere else – and, whether through family, or stories, or on paper or in feeling, are still entangled in that somewhere else.

Continue reading…


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